The United States, the land of immigrants will soon reform its immigration laws and the immigration reform bill unveiled by the senators focuses on immigrant work skills and border security. The immigration bill of the senators is 844 pages long it is named Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013. This bill includes provisions for low skilled and the high skilled foreign workers and this bill would expand the H-1B visa program and 180,000 H-1B visas are likely to be made available, every year. Moreover, spouses of H-1B workers who are currently not authorized to work in the United States, would be permitted to work in the United States, if the Senate bill is enacted.
A new visa category, W visa would be created for the low skilled foreign workers and around 20,000 W visas would be issued every year. These W visa holders would be permitted to bring with them their children and spouses to the United States and their dependents also would be permitted to work in the country. However, W visa holders would be hired only if there is a need for foreign workers. Likewise, a program that would attract investors would be created and visas would be issued to foreign nationals who seek to start companies in America. More than 25,000 visas would be allocated to the foreign students who graduate from American universities and Green Cards would be issued to foreign students who earn master’s degrees in STEM fields.
The H-2A visa program currently helps low skilled foreign workers to enter into the country and work there but this program is not effective and the agricultural industries are unable to find low skilled workers in America as the Americans do not wish to take up jobs in agriculture. The senators have come up with a new program for the low skilled workers and their bill would replace the H-2A program and grant the agricultural workers, Blue Card status. Blue Cards would also be issued to the workers who are already working in the United States and who have worked for at least 100 days and who have maintained clean criminal records. Moreover, these Blue Card holders would also be permitted to apply for lawful permanent resident status within five years.